General English

  • adverb not used, left behind
  • prefix
    (written as over-)
  • preposition above or higher than
  • preposition on the other side or to the other side
  • preposition from the top of


  • noun a stipulated number of fair deliveries (six, in the contemporary game) bowled consecutively by one bowler from one end of the pitch. Overs are bowled alternately from each end of the pitch, and no bowler may bowl two overs consecutively in the same innings. No-balls and wides do not count in the over. The term derives from the call made by the umpire when the prescribed number of balls has been bowled: ‘When the four Balls are bowl’d he is to call Over’ (Laws 1744) thereby indicating that the field will ‘change over’ and the ball will be bowled from the other end of the wicket.


  • noun a series of six correctly bowled balls, or the play that takes place during this

Origin & History of “over”

Etymologically, over denotes ‘more up, upper’. It originated as an Indo-European comparative form derived from the base *upó ‘under’, which gave rise to English up. this became prehistoric Germanic *uberi, which has diversified into German über, Swedish öfver, and Dutch, Danish, and English over. A derivative of the same base forms the second syllable of English above, while amongst over’s more surprising relatives are eaves and evil.